Michael Bourne has been appointed General Manager of Hilton Sydney, following the departure of 2011 HM Awards General Manager of the Year Paul Hutton to Asia.
Bourne takes over Hilton’s flagship hotel after Hutton, who after an incredibly successful two and a half years at Hilton Sydney, is relocating with his family to Hong Kong as regional general manager, Hilton China South.
In what’s being dubbed a “dream” move for Bourne, the relocation to Sydney brings his family back to their hometown, following three years living in Melbourne where Bourne was opening General Manager of Hilton Melbourne South Wharf.
“Opening Hilton Melbourne South Wharf was a fantastic experience and my family has been incredibly happy living in such a cosmopolitan city for the last three years,” Bourne said.
“Moving back home to Sydney to the wonderful Hilton Sydney however, is more than a dream come true, it’s a complete privilege.
“I closely monitored the refurbishment process here in 2005 and knew then that if I had the opportunity to manage any Hilton property in the future, I wanted it to be this one! I’m eager to get to know the entire team and work on leading them and this magnificent hotel into 2012 and beyond.”
Bourne has over 20 years experience in the hotel industry, beginning his career at the iconic Newport Arms Hotel in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. This was the catalyst for him to want to learn about larger hotels and he joined what was then the second largest hotel in Sydney, the Koala Oxford Square Hotel, as a porter. The hotel management soon recognised his flair for customer service and offered him a traineeship and helped him gain entry to study Hotel Management at the Ryde School of Hospitality.
Bourne moved on to have a successful career with Southern Pacific Hotels Corporatiojn (SPHC) where, amongst other achievements, he headed up operations for the opening of the Sydney Airport Parkroyal, managed the Sails in the Desert Hotel (formerly Sheraton Ayres Rock) and was National Director of Sales and Marketing for Ayres Rock Resort.
After 13 years with SPHC, Bourne wanted to extend his skills and left to take on the challenge of opening general manager for the prestigious Cypress Lakes Resort in the Hunter Valley and three years later, the opening of the Novotel Century Darling Harbour in Sydney’s CBD, before accepting the role of General Manager at the former Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Double Bay.
Bourne joined Hilton International in 2003 as General Manager of the award-winning Hilton Melbourne Airport before moving on to manage Hilton Brisbane. In this time both hotels picked up two national Australian Hotel Association awards. Bourne also held the role of Hilton’s Food and Beverage Coordinator, Australasia for four years.
Ashley Spencer, Vice President Operations, Hilton Worldwide Australasia, said: “Michael’s extensive food and beverage experience coupled with sophisticated management and great leadership will play a pivotal role in his position.
“Hilton Sydney is our flagship property in the region and Michael’s expertise and passion will ensure the hotel and team continue to perform at the highest levels.”
With Luke Mangan’s ‘hatted’ glass brasserie, the stylish and award-winning Zeta Bar, iconic Marble Bar and Caffe Cino to whet the appetite, Hilton Sydney also boasts the largest hotel based conferencing and events space in Sydney, with capacity for 3000 delegates.
Outside of the food and wine scene, Bourne and his young family enjoy travelling to Europe to visit his German wife’s extended family. He also supports the work of the Leukemia Foundation.